A sufficient ending to a chaotic day..
It started in the Lumbia Airport (see previous post). Ed had gone ahead on PAL because of his family benefit (his round trip tickets are always much cheaper than my one way fares). My mom’s and my flight was uneventful, though relatively longer than usual because of rain clouds over Manila – our aircraft had to circle the airport before finally landing at 11:45am. It was the beginning of my nightmare.
As soon as I switched my phone back on, I received a text from my brother J, asking how flights were faring in that it was raining. In reply I asked why he and his kids weren’t at the airport yet, reminding him that their flight for Caticlan was at 2:00. He replied nonchalantly that they were still due at the airport at 12:20 (required 2 hours before) but they were on the way. Hahay, knowing my brother’s twisted sense of timing, it sounded like an omen to doom. The plane taxied onto the tarmac and parked but we had to be shuttled to the arrival area because the bridge arm was not functioning. At the baggage claim area, we couldn’t get out at once (we only had to get my mom’s bag because I was on Go-Lite) because of the way the conveyor bays were set up.
There are 7 bays in NAIA3, but only 2 were being used – one for Air Philippines and one for Cebu Pacific. So if flights arrived at the same time – Cebu Pacific had CDO, Davao and Cebu simultaneously – baggage from these flights were unloaded onto this ONE conveyor AT THE SAME TIME. So 300+ passengers were crowded around 1 conveyor searching for their bags. Yet, I was not fazed. I just resigned myself to accept the fate that whenever I ride Cebu Pacific, something always goes wrong. This is called Murphy’s Law, right?
Finally, we came out. Ed was waiting for us at the exit and we three trooped back into the terminal to check-in for the Manila-Caticlan leg. That done, I called my brother J again to ask his location. This was at 12:30. His reply: Cubao Underpass, stuck in traffic. What???
To make a long afternoon short, BOTH my brother J (with 3 kids in tow) and my brother R (with family in tow) ALMOST missed their flights to Caticlan. Each time they arrived JUST AS the counters were about to close and each time I had to alternate between minutes of sheer panic and buying time for both. Whew! Is this what a personal travel agent does for a living??? Hmm.. I could get used to it, hehehe.
But there’s more. As we entered the pre-departure area, hurrying because the walk from the terminal to the gate is like a kilometer in distance, I heard over the PA system that our flight was delayed… AFTER ALL THAT???
In the end, the flight was delayed a total of 20 minutes, due to the late arrival of the aircraft and traffic on the runway. The flight itself was uneventful.. except when we flew over Mt. Makiling and I was able to get a really nice shot of it from above. (Camera pictures will be posted later.)
We arrived in Caticlan, rode a van to the Caticlan port, delivered the group of my brother R and family, along with my mom to the safe hands of Two Seasons Boracay staff, and headed over to the banca terminal ourselves. The ticket cost P160 per person (P25 for terminal fee, P75 for environmental fee, P60 for ticket) and the boat ride took a mere 5 minutes. At the banca port, we took a tricycle to Station 2, where we were checked in at Bonzai Resort. Two hours later, we were having dinner at Two Seasons, at the treat of my brother R, whose birthday it was.
It was a long day, filled with chaos, panic, frustration and lessons. It was also fulfilling, heartwarming and lighthearted completed by nothing less than a family reunion. Am I thankful we came on this trip?